Team Argo out to smash five-year-old Bermuda to Plymouth world record
Brian Thompson is attempting to break the five-year-old Bermuda to Plymouth, England world speed record he helped set as the co-skipper, on board the trimaran Phaedo3.
The Englishman completed the 2,870 nautical mile journey on Lloyd Thornburg’s one-design MOD70 in a time of 5 days 11hr 57min 17sec to better the previous record of 14:06:12:50 set in 2004 by Ross Hobson and crew on the 43-foot trimaran Mollymawk.
Thompson is now attempting to eclipse the mark yet again as the helmsman/navigator on board the foiling MOD70 trimaran Argo.
“This is quite an historic route from Bermuda back to the UK,” he told The Royal Gazette. “Many ships and yachts have done it in the past, and we trying to do it quicker than it’s ever been done.
“To get it down to five days would be a great achievement.”
He added: “We have been looking at this record for awhile and fingers crossed it’s lined up quite well. The record is 21 knots so we want to be going 24-25 knots along the way.”
Thompson was scheduled to set sail from the island tonight.
“Conditions are looking good to cross with good downwind conditions, perhaps a bit complicated at the finish with a blocking high in the western approaches.”
Jason Caroll’s 70-foot trimaran already owns multiple records in her home port in Newport, Rhode Island.
“It’s a very similar boat to Phaedo3, slightly modified with more lifting foils,” Thompson added. “Not to the extent of the AC50 [wing-sailed foiling catamarans] you had in Bermuda a few years ago for America’s Cup, but it should upgrade the performance a little bit.”
Thompson is among a crew of six which includes Chad Corning, Charlie Ogletree, Westy Barlow, Pete Cumming and Alister Richardson.
“We have all sailed together quite a lot and five of us have just sailed down from Newport,” he said. “We only got in yesterday because the weather was really bad.”
Thompson is best known in the field of multihull sailing and offshore races and records. His achievements include 35 world records, one of which was when he was part of the crew on Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V, who hold the record for the fastest sailing yacht around the world.
“It’s a great feeling when you break a record,” he said. “I have two records sailing around the world non-stop, and that’s really satisfying knowing that you’ve done it a lot quicker than anyone else.
“You have the most fun sailing when you have really good conditions.
“Ideally, you want a downwind with good breeze so you can go fast and the water not too rough.”